The latest coronavirus news on Friday from Canada and around the world. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories when available,
4:58 PM: A massive rally against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions wrapped up on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill right now, but hundreds of protesters remain.
The crowd spread to Parliament Hill and most of Wellington Street.
Today’s protest has been relatively quiet and peaceful.
Organizers say they plan to lead the crowd through downtown Ottawa before moving to a rural area outside the city for an “after party”.
Asked whether protesters are expected to return home after the day’s events, Freedom Fighters Canada spokesman Bethan Nodwell said nothing else was planned other than a Sunday morning church service.
4:05 pm: Quebec has now recorded 15,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
There were 23 more virus-related deaths in the province in the past 24 hours, according to data published today on the province’s Open Data website.
Quebec has recorded more deaths from COVID-19 than any other province in Canada.
According to the open data site, 2,252 people were in hospital with COVID-19, a drop of 38 from the day before.
There were 74 people in intensive care, a decrease of six from the previous day.
Quebec’s interim public health director said on Thursday that the province had recorded more pandemic-related deaths than other Canadian jurisdictions as it counted cases where COVID-19 was not the primary cause of death.
Saturday at 8 a.m.: A “rolling thunder” protest in Ottawa clashed with police on Friday, after a small convoy of vehicles attempted to head towards Parliament Hill on Friday.
Many protesters were also part of the “freedom convoy” demonstration that seized the capital in February for weeks to protest against vaccine mandates, COVID-19 restrictions and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The protests began relatively peacefully on Parliament Hill on Friday, but hours later as night fell, a line of large rigs, campers and other trucks made their way into the corps.
Protesters gathered around the trucks, and police in tactical gear formed a line and confronted them.
Seven people were arrested and 24 vehicles were hauled away on various charges, including assaulting the police, police said in a release. The windows of at least one truck were also broken.
Protests are expected to continue on Saturday with a convoy of hundreds of motorcyclists through the city, with a stop at the National War Memorial, before moving to Parliament Hill for another rally.
Read Friday’s coronavirus news.